What is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability is the proportion of a substance which enters the bloodstream unaltered so it can have an active effect on the body, i.e., bioavailability is directly linked to effectiveness. A substance such as CBD oil may be readily absorbed but suffer significant metabolism by the liver before reaching the blood stream, thereby reducing its bioavailability and effectiveness.
To download our Phase I Clinical Trial click here
~3.5 Times Higher Bioavailability1Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® capsules deliver ~3.5 times higher total bioavailability (over 24 hours) compared to standard CBD oil.
Why are Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® capsules the best way to take CBD?
Before choosing a CBD product it is important to understand the different formats which are available.
The graph above includes data from our phase I clinical trial and other clinical data on CBD oil. From it you can see that the area under the curve shows the bioavailability. When comparing CBD oil or an oromucosal spray to our Advanced Gelpell® technology, it is clear that Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® capsules are the most effective CBD product on the market.
As a comparison, you need to take ~3.5 times the amount of a standard CBD oil in order to get the same effect from a Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® capsule.
Continue reading to learn more about how format affects the bioavailability of CBD
Oral ingestion: Swallowing CBD oils or CBD oil in capsules
Common methods of taking CBD are swallowing a few drops of CBD oil or taking a soft-gel capsule containing CBD oil.
CBD taken in this way is subject to breakdown in the stomach before being absorbed. Once absorbed, most of the CBD is then metabolised by the liver before it can reach the blood stream to have an effect on the body (the so-called ‘first-pass metabolism’). This means very little of the CBD taken actually reaches the blood stream.
Published studies have shown CBD bioavailability for these products is very low at 5-6%2.
Oral ingestion: CBD edibles
Edibles are categorised as CBD in drinks, chocolate, or other foodstuffs. CBD is degraded by heat, light and oxygen so adding CBD to drinks such as hot tea or coffee, or baking in foods such as cakes or chocolates doesn’t make much sense, as the heat is likely to breakdown the CBD molecules, thus reducing the amount of CBD in the finished goods.
Unless the product is actually tested to check how much CBD remains after preparation, it is best to avoid these more ‘marketing-driven’ goods as they are likely to contain little, if any CBD.
Sublingual: Holding CBD oils & CBD sprays under the tongue
Holding CBD oil or spray under the tongue for 1-2 minutes allows some of the CBD to pass through the membrane of the mouth directly into the blood stream, bypassing the first pass metabolism. This is called sublingual or oromucosal administration. The rest of the CBD oil is then swallowed and is subject to the normal poor oral absorption (as discussed above).
Sublingual administration increases the bioavailability of CBD, with some trials showing 12-13%(3).
In addition to poor bioavailability there are other disadvantages when taking CBD oils or CBD sprays. The dosing is inconsistent because most oils are administered by droppers which are not measured, plus the majority of CBD oils don’t taste great which reduces compliance and many people stop taking them.
Topical: Applying CBD creams, lotions, balms, salves & patches to the skin
Applying CBD directly to the skin is another form of use. There are a wide variety of CBD creams, lotions, balms, and salves available to serve this need.
CBD is a large oily molecule and does not easily pass through the epidermis (skin surface) to exert effects in the deeper skin layers (e.g., dermis) or reach tissues such as muscles and joints.
Topical products should be backed up by clinical trials proving the CBD passes through the skin, if being used for benefits beyond the skin surface. If not, the product is more akin to a cosmetic which sits on the surface of the skin.
This method of using CBD is by far the least popular, with oral dosing offering more convenience. The average person will choose to swallow CBD long before they choose a suppository. Despite this, in general, suppositories can increase bioavailability of certain pharmaceutical drugs by partially bypassing the liver and so avoiding part of the first pass metabolism.
We have only seen a single published clinical study (with 2 patients) indicating that the bioavailability of THC (another cannabinoid) is increased via the use of suppositories. However, that study suggests that suppositories have lower bioavailability than Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® capsules.
Satipharm CBD Advanced Gelpell® Capsules
Satipharm’s Advanced Gelpell® formulation embeds CBD in seamless gelatine microspheres (tiny beads). These gelatine beads protect the CBD contained in them from heat, light and oxygen, making this formulation the most stable format on the market. In fact, we now have 4 years’ worth of laboratory data proving this stability.
These beads are then placed in gastro-resistant capsules which protect the beads from acid in the stomach. When swallowed, the beads disperse throughout the intestine, where they are absorbed by the body into both the blood stream and the lymphatic system, minimising the impact of the first pass metabolism in the liver.
Satipharm's Advanced Gelpell® technology gives clinically proven bioavailability, ~3.5 times that of standard CBD oil.
- Atsmon J, Heffetz D, Deutsch L, Deutsch F, Sacks H. Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics of Oral Cannabidiol Following Administration of PTL101: A New Formulation Based on Gelatin Matrix Pellets Technology. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2018 Sep;7(7):751-758. doi: 10.1002/cpdd.408. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PMID: 29125702.
- Grotenhermen F. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(4):327–360.
- Karschner EL, Darwin WD, Goodwin RS, Wright S, Huestis MA. Plasma cannabinoid pharmacokinetics following controlled oral delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and oromucosal cannabis extract administration. Clin Chem. 2011;57(1):66–75.
- Brenneisen R, Egli A, Elsohly MA, Henn V, Spiess Y. The effect of orally and rectally administered delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on spasticity: a pilot study with 2 patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996 Oct;34(10):446-52. PMID: 8897084.